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Biotech Medicine Technology

Leg-Paralysis Sensing, Stimulation Device Steps Up 20

Posted by timothy
from the zombies-are-next dept.
AndreV writes "After 30 years of development, a device developed at Simon Fraser University that assists people to walk who have paralysis in one leg will soon be on the market in Europe and, eventually, in the US and Canada. The pacemaker-like Neurostep uses nerve cuffs to sense and stimulate nerve activity in the paralyzed leg, allowing greater mobility for those suffering from neurological disabilities such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, or cerebral palsy. About the size of a cell phone, the 'brain' integrates three digital modules: the neurosensing module (receives nerve impulses), real-time adaptive control module (interrogates the signals and identifies physical events), and neurostimulation module (delivers stimulation to the target nerve). It was recently approved for use in Europe, and they are working to begin clinical trials and introduce the device in the US."
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Leg-Paralysis Sensing, Stimulation Device Steps Up

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  • Zombies. well, not zombies exactly - but I can imagine a scifi book where they use a centralized bot brain to animate vegetative-state or newly-corpses for slave labor.
    • Great idea. No more atrophy after you wake up from your coma. I'm performing a service to you by letting you do all my heavy lifting.
    • by HTH NE1 (675604)

      Zombies. well, not zombies exactly - but I can imagine a scifi book where they use a centralized bot brain to animate vegetative-state or newly-corpses for slave labor.

      How about just as spare parts? Moontrap (1989) [imdb.com] and Virus (1999) [imdb.com] come to mind.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by eln (21727)

      So long as you can get them to use energy from some source other than our delicious brains, I'm okay with that idea.

    • Neal Stephenson and Frederik George wrote about this in Interface in -93, using Stephenson's typically advanced knowledge of engineering, but the plot uncovered what my suspicious mind thinks things like this can be used for in the long run. We'll all be slaves to the governments or the Bilderbergers or whatever in the end, you know.
  • Damn. I'm sorry Christopher Reeve didn't live to see this -- he spent so much of his time fighting to promote research on paralysis, and this is such an exciting development.
  • SFU is *in* Canada (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    ...a device developed at Simon Fraser University that assists people who have paralysis in one leg to walk will soon be on the market in Europe and, eventually, in the US and Canada.

    Simon Fraser University is IN Canada, why will it be on the market in Europe BEFORE Canada!?

    • by mlyle (148697)

      Because it's a lot easier to do trials and get preliminary approval in Europe than in North America. Just about everything makes it to Europe first, because the bar to establish safety and efficacy is so much higher in the States and Canada.

  • The Simon Fraser studies were covered by "60 Minutes" not long ago.

    Long ago, they also covered the first such computerized device. A paralyzed young woman 'rode' a motorized stationary bicycle. An electromyelogram controlled by an Apple II recorded signals from her muscles. These signals were moved to a device that she could wear which used the recorded signals to control stimulation signals sent to those muscles. This artificially controlled her legs for her allowing her to walk. She was just learning to w

  • No real information (Score:2, Informative)

    by Kim0 (106623)

    It says nothing about what the neural cuffs do, or how they do it, or what they do it for. All it says is that there is some 'electromagic' box connected to the nerves, helping paralyzed people in some mysterious way. And that it took time and money to make.

    This lack of real information irritates me.

    What is it? Investor fodder?

    Kim0

  • i told an elderly lady that i would get her a some mechanical legs like the military is designing so that a person can lift a ton and only feel a couple pounds at max. i was thinking of a scaled down model for her because she has some sort of wobbly leg problem, i believe it would only be for one leg but maybe this would be better for her. i was wondering if anybody knew more information about this, maybe a trial version or test thing for research. (sorry i forget words occasionally).

Prototype designs always work. -- Don Vonada

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